The aim of this work is to show how Augustine adapted a deeply Platonic outlook to the new world of Christianity, and how he constructed a vision in which Platonism and Christianity pointed in the same direction. Augustine is skillfully contextualized, while the enduring, if often unpopular, power of his claims on a variety of topics is discussed in a manner that puts a fresh perspective on some of his chief concerns. These include: divine and human love; marriage and sexuality; the lust for power; and God's providence and omnipotence.
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This book provides a detailed and accurate account of the character and effects of Augustine's thought as a whole. Professor Rist outlines the fundamental themes in Augustine's theology and philosophy, and indicates how his chief concerns may speak to us more intelligibly.' masterful study ... Rist places [Augustine] firmly in the tradition of classical philosophy and uncovers the intellectual unease which made him a deep and original thinker'. John Marenbon, The TimesReview :
"It should be read carefully by every student of classical and medieval philosophy, while it should revive interest, one hopes, in a figure too often neglected in contemporary philosophical discussions." Timothy B. Noone, Review of Metaphysics
"Augustine: Ancient Thought Baptized is likely to be reckoned by readers to rank as Rist's best book so far: the sheer magnitude of the subject and contemporaneity of some of the issues have evoked a book to match." Times Literary Supplement
"...this volume is a welcome contribution by a learned philosopher to our understanding of Augustine as the principal figure in the transmission and transformation of classical philosophical thought to the West." Theological Studies
"A vigorous, accurate description of the intellectual world of Augustine whose thought was mostly developed in the context of controversies....A challenging, profound study of Augustine's thought which should be read carefully by every student of the history of western philosophy and of early Christian thought." Religious Studies Review
"...continues to be a subject of lively debate." Studies in Religion
"John M. Rist's impressive book fills a deep gap in our knowledge of the most influential thinker in Western history after Plato....The reader develops great respect for the author as well as the subject of this book, which should become a classic." The Journal of Religion
"This work is likely to become the best starting point to grasp the entirety of Augustine's world view." Worldtrade
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